Community Spotlight - Joshua Finn's Daimler Benz!

by FliteTest | February 26, 2018 | (8) Posted in Projects

This week in the Flite Test Community Spotlight we're featuring a unique, multi-engined model made by Joshua Finn. Actually, we're not talking about one model - this project includes several! This is the Daimler Benz Projekt B.

Joshua has been featured on Flite Test before when we checked out some of his incredible indoor free flight models. If you'd like to see that first, just to lend a little context to the man behind this mad project, see the video here. 

History of the Projekt B

Daimler Benz was a German company that was founded in 1925. Primarily, it manufactured automobiles and internal combustion engines. Throughout WW2, they manufactured a lot of engines for the Luftwaffe's aircraft such as the BF-109.

The Projekt B was part of a program near the end of the war to create technically advanced aircraft to help swing the tide in Germany's favour. It was of the same ilk as the Vengence Weapon Program that produced the V1 flying bomb and the V2 ballistic missile. There's little doubt that this aircraft is part of a dark chapter in military history, yet the whole concept makes for an interesting technical subject for a model.

Essentially, the Projekt B was a carrier aircraft that dropped smaller 'parasite' airplanes from under its wings. It could be viewed as a similar type of aircraft to White Knight Two, which is a carrier for the Virgin Galactic space tourism project.

Design Process

Joshua started by doing drawings of the carrier. He decided to use components from model rockets to create the rounded fuselage sections. 

Components for the jet bomber, that was made to be dropped from the carrier mothership, were also designed at this point. 

From the plans, you can see how the bomber fits under the carrier aircraft.

Specifications of the Models

Just so you have more of a technical idea of how these models went together, take a look at the spec of each aircraft. 

The Carrier 

2xPower Pack A Twin Engine sets
- 4x 1806 motors
- 4x 6x4 props
- 4-7x micro servos (anything between 3.7g and 9g will work), need up to 3 extra servos for releases if
you don't buy the kit
2x BT50 body tubes from Balsa Machining Service
1x BNC50X for cockpit (cut down to fit)
4x BNC50Y for tailcones
1-3x piggyback release 
6-8 channel receiver (minimum functions: R-E-A-T with passive piggyback release, R-E-A-T+Aux for single or combined release)
3x sheets waterproof DTFB
6x wheels
1x 3s 1800-2200mAh lipo carried under wing
Velcro for mounting rx and battery
1/32" plywood for control horns
.042 piano wire for pushrods

The Bomber

2 extra servos from twin-engine powerpack for Carrier
40mm Dr. Mad Thrust EDF
6 channel receiver (R-E-A)
1x BT60 body tube
1x BNC60AH for tail cone
1x BNC60MS for the nose cone
1x sheet waterproof DTFB
1x 3s 800 mAh 30C lipo
1/32" plywood for control horns
.042 piano wire for pushrods

The Free Flight Parasite Airplanes 

1 sheet 1/8" balsa for the fuselage
1 sheet 3/32 balsa for wings
1 sheet 1/16" balsa for stab and sub fin
.015" piano wire carrier hook
1/32" plywood for catapult hook (optional)

The Build

To make this project work efficiently and reliably, the crucial dropping mechanism used to launch the jet bomber was made with our Piggyback Release system. This is available in the FT Store if you want to do a similar project to Joshua's in the future. 

The jet bomber was one of the first pieces of the project to come together. Joshua did a few glide tests before moving onto installing some power. The wingspan of this model is 22". 

After experimenting with a small conventional inrunner motor on top of the plane, he moved to install a 40mm ducted fan. Again, the shrouds and cowling were made from model rocket tubing. 

Two extra models were made for the outer wings of the carrier.  

Initially devised as free flight models, Joshua couldn't help but add some inrunners and power systems to them. 

The main carrier mothership went together quickly and, after some fine tuning to iron out ESC problems, both aircraft were ready for a test flight. The wingspan of the carrier is 54". This means that there is plenty of space to carry the 22" bomber. 

You can see how many different parts of the model there are by looking from a top-down perspective. 

After the complex model was ready, it was wheeled out for a test flight. Initially, both the bomber and carrier were tested separately. After two successful flights, they were tried together. 

All painted up, the aircraft took on more of a scale appearance. The harsh angles of the camouflage really capture that Luftwaffe look. 

All finished, the airplanes headed for Flite Fest South of 2017. Here's what happened in Joshua's own words:

"I did make a successful run with the jet and had fun buzzing around with it, but a dodgy signal wire for the left outboard esc on the carrier plane caused some bad decision making. Even though it was flying decently on three motors and a little opposite rudder, we opted to fly on just the two inboards. Worked ok without the jet onboard, but when we loaded it on and launched from out in the grass, I got caught in a downdraft and completely lost yaw control, so the whole assemblage plopped on the runway breaking a prop and most of the nacelles. Easy repairs, but very irritating.”

It's a shame that the flights at Flite Fest didn't go as planned, but hopefully we will see this or another magnificent creation like it take to the air again soon. It's an impressive achievement none the less. 

We love seeing unique projects like this; they challenge what we already know and encourage us to try more complex ideas. If you'd like to see the detailed full build thread of this project, check it out on the Flite Test Forum here. If you'd like to see more of Joshua Finn's creations, check out his YouTube channel. Next Friday, there will be another Community Spotlight! Make sure you check in then to get your weekly dose of inspiration. 


Project Forum Thread

FT Piggyback Release mechanism

J&H Aerospace


Article by James Whomsley Editor

Instagram @jameswhomsley


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Community Spotlight - Joshua Finn's Daimler Benz!